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[ICANN-EU] fwd: ICANN's $50,000.00 Question
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: [ICANN-EU] fwd: ICANN's $50,000.00 Question
- From: Andy Mueller-Maguhn <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2000 23:14:44 +0200
- Comment: This message comes from the icann-europe mailing list.
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
>From: Paul Garrin <email@example.com>
>Subject: ICANN's $50,000.00 Question
>Date: Wed, 27 Sep 2000 17:08:45 -0400
> Is the ICANN $50,000.00
> TLD Application Fee a Scam?
>The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and
>Numbers (ICANN) is accpeting proposals from
>sponsors and organizations for new Generic Top
>Level Domains (gTLDs) for possible addition to the
>Global Domain Root so users worldwide can register
>and access internet sites worldwide with domain
>names such as "new.world" or "bargain.shop" and
>others, in the same way that they can access
>"shopping.com" or any other ".com" address.
>The application fee for sponsors of a new gTLD is
>non-refundable $50,000, payable to ICANN. The
>deadline for all applications is October 2, 2000.
>In November, 2000 ICANN will select the "winning"
>proposals and recommend to the US Department of
>Commerce NTIA to activate the new gTLDs by
>adding them to the Global Domain Root, physically
>under the control of Network Solutions, Inc.
>Many have expressed concerns over the amount and
>the validity of the non-refundable fee, especially
>non-profit groups and small entrepeneurs who feel
>that the fee is excessive and raises the barrier of entry
>for becoming a TLD operator beyond their means
>while unfairly favoring large corporations with little
>or no interest in protecting the values of free speech
>and civil society.
>To add to the controversy, such an application
>process and fee has never been imposed before for
>new TLD registries, including in the cases of new
>"country code" TLDs now marketed for commercial
>purposes such as ".cc" ".nu" ".ws" ".tv" and others.
>Rights to those and other so-called "ccTLDs" were
>granted to private corporations free of charge and
>absent due diligence review of their capabilities and
>business plans. In most cases, the granting of ccTLDs
>in 1997 and 1998 were the result of "insider"
>connections to the IANA (Internet Assigned
>Numbers Agency) by the late Dr. Jon Postel, the
>predecessor of ICANN, without any open solicitation,
>review or competitive bid. Since Dr. Postel's untimely
>death in October, 1998 at the moment ICANN was
>called before the House Commerce Committee for
>review, ICANN has assumed the functions formerly
>carried out by the IANA under Dr. Postel. ICANN
>has been widely criticised for operating in secret with
>no public oversight or review of their decisions and
>policies, which in the end affect all internet users
>Legitimacy and precedence aside, critics of ICANN
>are likely to question the chances that ICANN, whose
>board is dominated by corporate interests such as
>IBM, MCI-Worldcom, ATT, AOL, Network
>Solutions, British Telecom, and various intellectual
>property and trademark interests, will select any new
>TLDs at all from the paid applications. In any event,
>the possibility that a majority of the applications will
>be rejected by ICANN causing most applicants to
>each lose $50,000.00. If ICANN receives a large
>number of applications but only activates 1 or 2 new
>gTLDs most of the applicants will lose their money
>and be kept out of the registry business.
>This is not the first time that ICANN has tried to
>extract fees from domain companies. In 1999 ICANN
>attempted to impose a $1.00 per domain per year
>"tax" on every ".com" ".org" and ".net" domain
>registered. After review and hearings before the US
>House Committee on Commerce, ICANN was forced
>by Congress to witdraw the "dollar-per-domain tax".
>A source inside the House Commerce Committee
>(who asked not to be named) commented that if the
>issue of the $50.000.00 non-refundable fee is brought
>before the Commerce Committee it is likely that, just
>as in the "dollar-per-domain tax", the fee would be
>overturned. The majority of members on the House
>Commerce Committee are opposed to any form of
>regulation or taxation of the internet.
>How much will ICANN get away with is a big
>question. It's probably no coincidence that the
>solicitation of applications and fees was timed when
>the Congress went on break in August. Although
>Congress is back in session, many members are up
>for re-election and are spending most of their
>energies on their campaigns and not on legislation.
>Whether or not there will be hearings or review
>before the elections is unknown, as is the possibility
>that Congress will order ICANN to refund the fees
>after the fact.
>It is not yet known how many companies will apply
>for gTLD registry status and pay the non-refundable
>fee. It is also important to note that the ultimate order
>to add new gTLDs to the Global Domain Root
>comes not from ICANN, but from the NTIA, as a
>written directive pursuant to "Amendment 11" of the
>cooperative agreement between the NTIA and NSI.
>Such a written directive would then give Network
>Solutions the green light to make the necessary
>additions to the "root.zone" file that runs on
>"root-server A" that would activate the new gTLDs
>to the entire internet. One letter and a simple text edit
>will change the world.